The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal....
For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.
For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.
As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.
Hold on let me get another drink
Ahem, ahem, talk about drama! If Ms. Ward ever tires of writing books she could easily write for day time soap operas. I felt as though I was in the midst of one throughout this read. I really enjoyed her writing style as it kept me wanting more and more. I wanted to keep going and never put the book down. Ms. Ward has been on my radar for quite some time now, and I can see why she has such a large following. I can’t wait to read her paranormal stuff and with this as a glimpse of her writing style I’m even more excited than before. I will absolutely be following this series as I cannot wait to see all the drama unfold.
The Story, a near tragedy brings billionaire playboy Lane Baldwine back home. Though his biggest fear has not come true he is still on the fence regarding letting his guard down. While on a self imposed exile Lane has done nothing but regret every mistake he has made in his past. Now that he is back in the mansion surrounded by treacherous snakes his only reprieve will come at trying to amend all the heart ache he caused his only love. Through trying to make things right with Lizzie, Lane will uncover an intricate web of deceit that is vile to the very core. Things are never as they seem and Lane will learn firsthand how privilege and honor are hardly ever found hand in hand.
The Characters, OMG! I wanted to shake and backhand almost EVERYONE!! These people are CRAY!! LOL, but one thing is for sure they are entertaining. Lane is one of four children and his family runs the best bourbon company in the country. Their childhood held a lot of painful memories that prove money does not equal happiness. I really enjoyed Lane he doubts himself at every turn but we see immense character development throughout these pages. He isn’t without reproach because of his past he has always preferred to cut and run or hide from the spotlight. Now as a grown man he learns that is not the way to handle situations “manning up” he does everything in his power to right his wrongs. Lizzie is a strong hard working independent woman. Her only weakness is loving Lane she doesn’t want to forgive him she wants to forget him. After finding out all of the circumstances of his deception she decides to give him another chance. Unfortunately she was lead by anger and doubt so they had their share of miscommunication. I’m happy to report after serious grief and ups and downs we get our HEA. I typically don’t talk about the side characters and If I were to go into detail about them I’d end up with 10,000 pages! I do want to point out Gin(Lane’s little sister) though she’s a grown woman she acts like a petulant child. She eff’s herself with her mouth so many times I could hardly stand it. There is a scene that broke my heart for her…Gosh I sure hope this girl gets her junk together, I feel like there is a wonderful firecracker beneath the terrible spoiled brat façade. I hope we see it sooner rather than later. Edward the eldest is a wonderful character who is broken…I’m crossing my fingers that he will mend in the books to come! Everyone else was a wonderful addition to the story line…I could go on and on, but I will spare you. Like I said earlier I can’t wait to see what happens next.
The End, WOW!!! Talk about twists!! We get resolution from Lizzie and Lane BUT everything else is still pretty effed up. Do not despair! Although there is a lot to be resolved the reader will not feel cheated at all. Honestly I felt HUNGRY…Hungry for more! There is plenty that happens in this book and each page is as intriguing and entertaining as the first. The author does a lovely job of setting certain things in motion to where the reader will want to know what is going to be the outcome. There are several story lines going on at one time and the things that are left unresolved are all like “pum pum pum” there is also a glimpse of the next book and let me tell you! I tried to resist it but could not final thoughts… OH SNAP. If you are looking for an entertaining drama/ gasp filled read this one is for you! I have to warn you the characters are flawed but the writing is lovely!!
4.5 Oh no she didn’t, he’s just drunk again, backhand, backstabbing, where did it all go? are those running shoes? Directly beneath mothers ledge, Enthralling, Entertaining filled stars!
J.R. Ward is a #1 New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author of erotic paranormal romance and she also writes contempary romance as Jessica Bird. She lives in the south with her incredibly supportive husband and her beloved golden retriever. After graduating from law school, she began working in healthcare in Boston and spent many years as Chief of Staff of one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation. Writing has always been her passion and her idea of heaven is a whole day of nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot. Visit the JRWard Facebook page for more on the Brotherhood or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
J.R. Ward reads all mail, but due to the volume she is not always able to respond-although she appreciates all the kindness and support!